Girls golf tees off for spring season

The girls golf spring season began Jan. 17 at the Collegiate Preview hosted by Hebron Golf. The varsity black team came in second and the varsity blue team came in fourth. Varsity’s next tournament will be the 6A Regional preview Feb. 25-26 at Tangle Ridge. Last year, the girls golf team won its first state championship at the UIL 6A tournament.

“It’s a new year and the girls won a state championship, and that’s awesome, but just because it happened once doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to happen again,” assistant golf coach Kurt Grawunder said. “[We are] trying to use that fire [and] motivation to get back [to state] and have the opportunity to do it two years in a row, which would be an amazing accomplishment.”

The varsity black team competed in the Vanessa Close Invitational Jan. 28-29 at the Bridlewood Golf Club. The team placed first in the tournament with a 15-stroke lead.

“In the fall season I started off really strong because I was coming off a really great summer season,” senior Nina Gudgeon said. “I have been pushed down [since some players returned], but I’m still working and doing really well. I’m getting back to my peaking moment again.”

Last season was Gudgeon’s first year on varsity. During this time, she decided she wanted to continue to play golf in college and said this desire pushed her to get better. During the fall, Gudgeon committed to play golf at Palm Beach Atlantic University. 

“[After looking at my stats from last season,] I realized I don’t hit enough greens and so I’ve been working with my private coaches and trainers to work on my speed with my approach shots,” Gudgeon said. “I would say my approach shots have gotten better and my proximity to the hole has allowed me to shoot my better scores recently.”

Senior Symran Shah, a Virginia Tech golf commit, was a part of the winning state team last year.

“We had one girl senior last year and she left,” Shah said. “She was on our state team, so we have to have someone come in this year and fill those shoes. I think our team this year is really good and we’ll definitely find someone to do the job.”

Both the district and regional UIL golf tournaments will be held in April at the Tangle Ridge golf club. The 6A championship will take place May 16-17 at the Legacy Hills Golf Club in Georgetown. To have a chance at becoming state champions again, the team must be in the top two teams in the district and in the top three teams in the region.

“This season I’m looking forward to going all the way to state,” Shah said. “We definitely can: we’re practicing a bunch, we’re playing really well in tournaments [and] we just hit our PR a couple weeks ago. I’m looking forward to winning state again, [and] I think we can do it.”